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Broos ‘angry’ as mystery Blom illness puts Bafana chance in jeopardy

Hugo Broos has blasted Njabulo Blom’s US Major League Soccer (MLS) side St Louis SC, for failing to communicate properly over a mystery illness that could mean he misses Bafana Bafana’s two Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers against Liberia at the end of this month.

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Blom has made a fine start to his career in the MLS, after moving from Kaizer Chiefs in December, and the 23 year-old was rewarded with a place in Broos’ final 23-man squad for the games at home to Liberia on March 24 and away in Monrovia on March 28.

The Bafana head coach, however, said at the squad announcement on Thursday afternoon that he is “angry” with St Louis, as they have not yet confirmed to Bafana the nature of a problem that ruled Blom out of last weekend’s game for St Louis against Portland Timbers.

“Njabulo played two games, then he didn’t play against Portland. They (St Louis) said he is sick, we said ‘with what?’ and they didn’t answer,” said Broos.

“So we contacted Njabulo, and he said yes he didn’t feel good, he said ‘I think I have Covid’. Ok, but then you can get a test? Yesterday (Wednesday) we got a mail from St Louis at 5pm telling us that their coaching and medical staff were discussing Blom’s situation. Now, 20 hours later, we still do not have an answer.

“I am angry, ok if he has Covid …. (but) I saw in America next week there is a league game, they play on the 26th. I am afraid they are trying to keep Njabulo there. But that will not happen. We know the rules, if he does not come for the correct reason he will not play for them. We will go to Fifa.”

Carnell connection

St Louis are coached by former Bafana Bafana international Bradley Carnell, who said on Thursday that Blom is ill and will definitely miss Sunday’s game at home to San Jose.

Local St Louis journalist Tom Timmerman tweeted that “Carnell said they’d have to discuss whether it’s in everyone’s best interests for him to make the long trip to South Africa for the national team games.”

As Broos mentioned, St Louis are scheduled to play another MLS game at Real Salt Lake on March 26.

The Bafana head coach added that if Blom does not make it to South Africa, it is likely that he will call up Orlando Pirates midfielder Miguel Timm to replace him.

from The Citizen https://www.citizen.co.za/sport/soccer/local-soccer/broos-angry-mystery-blom-illness-threatens-bafana-chance/

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